Danny McCance 21 Sep 2017 05:43pm

Six films to watch out for

Now in its 61st year, the British Film Institute London Film Festival is one of the most exciting times of the year for London-based film fanatics. This year, the festival opens on 4 October, with Closing Night Gala on 15 October. Here are six of our chosen highlights

Caption: Coin Farrell and Nicole Kidman in the Killing of Sacred Deer

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

In contrast to the quirky and imaginative tale told in The Lobster, director Yorgos Lanthimos has taken a distinctly darker turn with this outing. Colin Farrell – working for another time with Lanthimos – plays cardiothoracic surgeon Steven, whose perfect life with wife Anna, played by Nicole Kidman, slowly and uneasily unravels. In a genuinely disturbing descent, a young man Steven has befriended (played by Barry Keogh) begins tearing Steven’s world apart. Nominated for six awards, including the Palme d’Or, at Cannes, this unsettling psychological drama opens at the Odeon, Leicester Square on 12 October.


In a move away from his more action-packed roles, Matt Damon has chosen to star alongside Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz in this smart and refreshing satire from director of the Descendants, Alex Payne. In a near future, scientists have invented a way to combat some of the worlds environmental and population woes, with a radical, irreversible surgery that involves shrinking, or rather “downsizing” individuals. After choosing to undergo the surgery, Paul (Damon) struggles to find his tiny feet in this newly expanded world. The intriguing concept is brought to life by stunningly believable graphics. The film features in the festivals Patron’s Gala 12 October, also at the Odeon Leicester Square.

I Am Not a Witch

Rungano Nyoni made waves with her feature debut at Cannes with her tale focusing on accusations of witchcraft in her country of birth, Zambia. Maggie Wulumba plays a young girl who, after being accused of witchcraft, is sent to a witch camp and joins a troupe of travelling witches, exploited for the tourist industry. This unique and intriguing critique of a specific cultural opens on 12 October at the Curzon Mayfair.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

After her daughter is murdered, foul-mouthed and rough-around-the-edges Mildred (Frances McDormand) gets frustrated with the inactivity of the local sheriff (Woody Harrelson) and takes out three billboards to highlight said incompetence. McDormand is fantastic as both thoroughly unlikeable and yet worthy of respect Mildred in this darkly humorous feature from Martin McDonagh. The film features in the Closing Night Gala on 15 October, at the Odeon Leicester Square.

Loving Vincent

In the first of its kind, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman have created this fantastic animation in the style of Vincent Van Gogh himself. The story follows the final few months leading to the famous painter’s death, told through the voices of those around him. The film, the first to be fully painted in oils, is made up of 65,000 hand painted frames. The feature opens on 10 October at the Haymarket cinema

You Were Never Really Here

True to form, Joaquin Phoenix brings another intense performance in Lynne Ramsay’s violent psychological investigation. In a dazzlingly brutal narrative, Phoenix – who seemed to have gained a considerable mass of muscle – plays gulf war veteran and gun-for-hire Joe, who after being tasked with rescuing a senator’s daughter from kidnappers, finds himself at the heart of an increasingly savage and erratic storm of violence. The film opens on 14 October at the Odeon Leicester Square.